Final, Red Sox 5-1: The Red Sox got back in the win column.
Koji Uehara closed the door on Texas in the ninth inning, and the Red Sox opened their three-game series against the Rangers with a 5-1 win.
John Lackey stepped up big time for Boston, tossing seven solid innings in which he allowed just one unearned run on five hits.
Jackie Bradley Jr., Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski each collected three hits for the Red Sox, who pounded 14 hits as a team. Bradley also drove in two runs out of the No. 9 spot in Boston’s order and played sensational defense in right field.
Monday’s victory came on the heels of the Red Sox dropping three straight to the Milwaukee Brewers. Felix Doubront will take the ball in Tuesday’s game, which is scheduled for 6:10 p.m.
End 8th, Red Sox 5-1: Koji Uehara now has some extra wiggle room, as the Red Sox increased their lead to 5-1 in the eighth inning.
A.J. Pierzynski singled and Jonathan Herrera walked to begin the bottom of the eighth. Jackie Bradley Jr. then dropped a bunt up the first base line that magnified Texas’ defensive shortcomings.
It was going to be a difficult play no matter what because of how well-placed Bradley’s bunt was. Prince Fielder made things look even more complicated, however, by completely botching the play. Fielder struggled to corral the bunt and then flipped the ball past first base toward the Red Sox’s dugout, allowing Pierzynski to score all the way from second base. Herrera scampered over to third.
The Red Sox’s offense wasn’t ready to let the Rangers off the hook, either. Daniel Nava singled into right field to make it 4-1, and Dustin Pedroia’s forceout made it 5-1.
Mid 8th, Red Sox 2-1: Junichi Tazawa started warming up in the eighth inning as Shin Soo-Choo collected a leadoff single. The Red Sox didn’t need Tazawa, though, as Chris Capuano settled things down en route to a scoreless inning.
The top of the eighth ended in impressive fashion. Prince Fielder smashed a ball to second base that Dustin Pedroia snagged to kick off a nifty 4-6-3 double play. Mike Napoli capped the double play with a nice scoop at first base.
The Red Sox will look to tack on some runs in the bottom of the eighth before turning to Koji Uehara.
End 7th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox squandered an opportunity in the seventh inning.
Mike Napoli and Grady Sizemore got a little bingo going with two outs. Napoli softly singled over the mound — giving him his first three-hit game of 2014, after having six in 2013 — and Sizemore doubled down the left field line.
Xander Bogaerts couldn’t take advantage of the ducks on the pond, though. Bogaerts struck out looking to end the inning.
Chris Capuano will take over for Boston in the eighth inning after seven solid frames from John Lackey. Lackey gave up one unearned run on five hits while striking out five and walking two. He threw 95 pitches (65 strikes).
Mid 7th, Red Sox 2-1: John Lackey has done an excellent job of buckling down when he needs to.
Lackey escaped a second-and-third jam in the seventh inning to keep Boston’s one-run lead intact. It had to have been even more satisfying for the right-hander because he pitched his way into trouble.
Lackey walked Alex Rios and Leonys Martin in the seventh inning. Rios stole second base and advanced to third base on Mitch Moreland’s groundout. Martin swiped second with J.P. Arencibia batting.
Lackey got out of the jam by getting Arencibia to ground out to Dustin Pedroia at second base. The veteran righty was fired up after successfully navigating through trouble.
End 6th, Red Sox 2-1: Pedro Figueroa replaced Tanner Scheppers in the sixth inning after five innings from the Rangers starter.
Figueroa began his outing by plunking Jonathan Herrera on the shoe top. Herrera was briefly shaken up, but he managed to make his way down to first base and stayed in the game.
Daniel Nava — like Adrian Beltre did for the Rangers in the sixth inning — ended the frame by grounding into a double play.
Mid 6th, Red Sox 2-1: John Lackey ended the sixth inning by inducing a double play.
Elvis Andrus led off with a single, and Prince Fielder flied out for the first out of the inning. Adrian Beltre then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end any potential threat.
The twin killing was well-turned. Lackey pumped his fist while walking off the mound.
End 5th, Red Sox 2-1: The Red Sox strung together a couple of hits but couldn’t increase their lead.
Mike Napoli and Grady Sizemore delivered back-to-back singles with one out in the fifth inning.
Tanner Scheppers escaped the inning unscathed by retiring Xander Bogaerts and A.J. Pierzynski. Bogaerts popped out into foul territory along the first base line, and Pierzynski struck out swinging.
Mid 5th, Red Sox 2-1: John Lackey was very effective in the fifth inning.
Lackey breezed through the fifth, striking out Leonys Martin swinging and Shin-Soo Choo looking in the process.
J.P. Arencibia sneaked a groundout in between the two K’s.
End 4th, Red Sox 2-1: It didn’t take long for the Red Sox to recapture the lead.
A.J. Pierzynski, whose passed ball in the top of the inning helped pave the way for the Rangers’ first run, dropped a one-out single into center field. Leonys Martin made a diving attempt, but he clearly trapped the ball.
Jonathan Herrera followed with a single into right field. Pierzynski, who won’t win many races, managed to go from first to third.
Jackie Bradley Jr., who has been doing it all for Boston in this game, gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead with a hard-hit single into left. Pierzynski trotted home from third base.
Tanner Scheppers settled down to escape the inning after a mound visit, but the Red Sox are back in control.
Mid 4th, 1-1: The Rangers knotted things up in the fourth inning.
Adrian Beltre and Alex Rios collected back-to-back singles in the fourth. Beltre smashed a single into center field, and Rios hit a well-placed chopper down to third base.
Herrera actually attempted to throw out Beltre at second base on Rios’ chopper, but his throw sailed about 85 feet above Dustin Pedroia’s head. Fortunately for the Red Sox, Jackie Bradley Jr. was there to back it up and no one advanced.
The inning’s big miscue came with Mitch Moreland batting. A.J. Pierzynski allowed a ball to travel to the backstop, which enabled both Beltre and Rios to advance.
Moreland followed Pierzynski’s passed ball with a sinking line drive into center field. Grady Sizemore made a sliding grab, but Beltre tagged up and easily scored from third base.
End 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: It was a rough inning for Grady Sizemore.
Not only did Sizemore crash into the center field wall while attempting to make a play in the top of the third inning, but the outfielder also grounded into a double play to end the bottom half.
Mike Napoli ripped a sharply hit single through the left side before Sizemore grounded into the 4-6-3 twin killing.
Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: It was an interesting third inning for the Red Sox’s outfield.
J.P. Arencibia lifted a towering fly ball to deep right field with one out. Jackie Bradley Jr., who has been a stud in this game, raced back to make an awesome running catch. Bradley needed to cover a lot of ground given where he was stationed to begin the play.
Shin-Soo Choo then launched a fly ball toward the center field wall. Grady Sizemore ran back with a full head of steam but couldn’t make the catch. The ball landed just beyond Sizemore’s outstretched glove, and the outfielder crashed head-first into the wall after coming up empty. Choo cruised into third base with a triple.
John Lackey again buckled down when he needed to, retiring Elvis Andrus on a ground ball to second base.
End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: Jackie Bradley Jr. has made an impact with his glove and his bat.
Bradley, who saved a run with a sliding play to end the top of the second inning, knocked in Boston’s first run in the bottom half.
Xander Bogaerts demonstrated some very alert baserunning in the second inning. Bogaerts, who reached via a one-out single, went from first to third on A.J. Pierzynski’s base hit into left field. Bogaerts realized that third baseman Adrian Beltre was out of position as a result of diving for Pierzynski’s ground ball, and the 21-year-old easily advanced an extra bag.
Bradley put the Red Sox on the scoreboard with a two-out single into center field.
Tanner Scheppers walked Daniel Nava to pack the bags for Dustin Pedroia. Pedey couldn’t add to Boston’s total, though. He grounded softly to Beltre at third base.
Mid 2nd, 0-0: Daniel Nava made a major defensive miscue early in Sunday’s game against the Brewers. He made an error in the second inning of this contest, although it didn’t cost the Red Sox.
Alex Rios dropped a base hit into left-center field with one out. Nava and Grady Sizemore converged on it, but the ball got past Nava, enabling Rios to take second base.
John Lackey prevented Rios from scoring by retiring Mitch Moreland and Donnie Murphy. Moreland struck out swinging on a pitch in the dirt, and Murphy lined out to Jackie Bradley Jr. in right field.
Murphy’s line drive actually looked like it was going to drop, but Bradley made an excellent sliding catch to take away a hit and save a run.
End 1st, 0-0: Rangers manager Ron Washington called for a challenge in the first inning.
Daniel Nava was hit by a pitch to begin the inning. Tanner Scheppers fired a pitch at Nava’s feet that sent the leadoff hitter skipping in an attempt to avoid it. Nava’s dancing was unsuccessful, though, as the pitch drilled him in the foot.
The challenged play occurred after Dustin Pedroia struck out swinging. David Ortiz hit a ground ball to second base that the Rangers looked to turn into a double play. Second baseman Donnie Murphy tossed to shortstop Elvis Andrus in an attempt to record the first out. Andrus dropped the ball, though, and Nava was ruled safe.
Washington challenged that Andrus had control of the ball long enough for the out at second base. The ruling on the field was upheld, though, as the umpires determined that Andrus never had control of the ball.
As fate would have it, Mike Napoli grounded into a 6-4-3 double play one batter later.
Mid 1st, 0-0: John Lackey got off to a nice start.
Lackey struck out Shin-Soo Choo as part of a 1-2-3 first inning. Dustin Pedroia was busy in the frame, collecting two assists at second base.
Lackey opened the game by striking out Choo looking. Lackey froze the Rangers’ expensive leadoff hitter with a four-seamer, which sat at around 93 mph in the first inning.
Elvis Andrus and Prince Fielder both tested Pedroia. The sure-handed second baseman had no trouble, though.
7:10 p.m.: John Lackey wheels and deals. Let’s hope the rain stays away from Fenway Park.
6:14 p.m.: Ryan Roberts won’t be in the Red Sox’s starting lineup Monday. The 33-year-old hasn’t seen live pitching in more than days, but he is expected to be in Boston’s lineup Tuesday against Rangers lefty Martin Perez, according to manager John Farrell.
Jonathan Herrera will get his third straight start at third base. He’ll bat eighth, in front of Jackie Bradley Jr., who gets the nod in right field.
Monday’s complete lineups are below.
Boston Red Sox (2-4)
Daniel Nava, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Grady Sizemore, CF
Xander Bogaerts, SS
A.J. Pierzynski, C
Jonathan Herrera, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., RF
John Lackey, RHP (1-0, 3.00)
Texas Rangers (3-3)
Shin-Soo Choo, LF
Elvis Andrus, SS
Prince Fielder, 1B
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Alex Rios, RF
Mitch Moreland, DH
Donnie Murphy, 2B
Leonys Martin, CF
J.P. Arencibia, C
Tanner Scheppers, RHP (0-0, 15.75)
6 p.m. ET: John Lackey will look to play stopper Monday.
Lackey will face Tanner Scheppers as the Boston Red Sox try to snap a three-game losing streak against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park. The Red Sox dropped three straight to the Milwaukee Brewers over the weekend at Fenway, marking Boston’s first sweep at the hands of an interleague opponent since 2012.
The Red Sox welcomed a new player Monday, as the club signed free-agent infielder Ryan Roberts. Roberts was signed to give the Red Sox a right-handed bat in Will Middlebrooks’ absence. Middlebrooks, of course, was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday because of a right calf strain he suffered during Saturday’s pregame warmups. Roberts will platoon at third base with utilityman Jonathan Herrera.
Monday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., and it’s been very overcast at Fenway for much of the day. Let’s hope Mother Nature cooperates and allows us to see some baseball.